She grew up in Rye, New York, attended the Masters School, and Bradford Junior College. She returned to college in 1983, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College, the same year her son and daughter graduated from their colleges.
She was a voracious reader and sang oratorio with the Chorus North shore. She was active on stage at The Nucleus in Boston. She appreciated the natural world and its myriad wonders, especially full moon rises and sunsets across Buzzards Bay. She enjoyed traveling to Europe and the American West, and was a solid crew member on a boat. Millie was a bright, smiling, common-sense person who exuded joy. She transformed each day into fun, bringing laughter to conversation, to a game of tennis and at the dinner table. If a conversation was not going well, she would cheerfully say “just look at the moon.”
Millie was the go-to confidante for nearly everyone in her family, and was devoted to helping family and friends. She could listen well to others and communicated in a natural, straightforward way; not only did she know what to say – she knew how to say it. The difficult moments of life did not faze her; she gracefully helped many members of her family navigate their struggles with an innate belief that things would work out. Millie didn’t assume it or say it, but she was at the epicenter of family life. For Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a birthday there were 18 at the dinner table in happy conversations. Summer after summer on Mishaum Point in South Dartmouth, there were Perkinses and assorted cousins and friends spilling off porches, the slap of green doors and southwest winds.
She is survived by her husband, Dick, of 61 years; her son, Richie; daughters, Natalie Bartlett and Julie Cordonnier; and in-laws, Justin Cordonnier and Alden Perkins; and seven grandchildren, Sam, Nick, Nate, David, Jack, Will, and Claire. Also her brother David, sisters Bunny and Hilary. During the final six months of life, Millie exhibited the same grace and positive disposition she always had. She understood the uncertainty of her state, and while she battled and assumed the best, she accepted and embraced the end with serenity. Arrangements: A memorial service for Millie will be held sometime next Spring.